Thursday, April 6, 2023

The baboons and monkeys in Tanzania: Always fun to photograph

In the last blog post I talked about the flamingos in Africa. Today's post is all about the baboons and monkeys in Tanzania. We actually saw fewer baboons and monkeys than on our typical safaris in the region, but the sightings were great nonetheless. And I was able to photograph two new species I had never seen before.

These first images are of the baboons.  

Whenever we take guests to Tanzania, the baby animals are a highlight. It doesn't matter what animal we are watching, the youngsters always get the most attention and the most photographs. For me personally, I love capturing the interaction between the baby baboons and the adults. There is SO much personality in the youngsters! They climb all over the adults, on the backs, hang under their bellies, and will hop a ride any chance they can get.

When we are with a large pack of baboon, I try to point out the most active youngsters so that people get nice photos of them. Part of that is waiting to get the animals in the right location and best light. In this case, we had overcast skies (neutral light) and the baboons moved into a clearing. Time to fire away!

As we were driving up the outside of the Ngorongoro Crater, we came across some baboons on the raised side of the road. It was perfect because they ended up being right at our eye level. I saw this one youngster feeding in front of us and liked the concentration and catch light in it's eyes.

Believe it or not, all the rest of these photos were taken on our last day in Tanzania. We were staying at one of my favorite places, spending the bulk of the day relaxing and keying down from almost two weeks of go, go, go. I have seen smaller monkeys in this area but this was my first time seeing the White throated monkey.

Even though I had taken tens of thousands of photos on the trip, and you think I might be shot out at this point, I could not help myself. I really wanted photos of these monkeys!

Just like with the baboons, I was mostly keying in on the youngsters. I took this photo right outside my room. I shot it vertically to show the length of the adult's tail, but also felt that it did not show enough of the monkey's faces.

This is a crop of the above image. Because I was shooting with the Canon R5 (using the Canon RF100-500mm lens) with a lot of resolution, I could crop in and still have a ton of detail. You can see a lot more of both monkey's eyes in this version.  I really like this image...

As always, I am always looking for action and reaction. This monkey was grabbing it's own tail while calling out to the others.

This little one was playing with it's tail while hanging out in a tree. Really cute.

I was just about done photographing the white throated monkeys when I saw this little one looking right at me, in between the leafs of a nearby tree. It was in perfect light. Gotta get that!

Seeing the Colobus monkey was another first for me. I was totally captivated by the long white tails on these monkeys. They stayed pretty high in the trees, making it a pretty difficult shot to get.

This was one of the last photos I took on this last trip to Tanzania, and I really love it because I saw something new and different. That is the best part of going on safari. No matter how many times one goes, there is always something new to photograph.


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